Despite the negative effect that Solyndra has had on the eco-friendly finance world, these investments can play a major role in helping the nation’s economy bounce back. A new report prepared by Capital E for the Energy Foundation reveals that energy efficiency investments could create more than 1 million jobs in the next decade alone.
According to the report, Energy Efficiency Finance: Models and Strategies, there is the potential for $150 billion in energy efficiency investments annually in the United States. This level of financing would lead to about $200 billion in energy cost savings annually and the aforementioned 1 million plus new full-time jobs in the next 10 years.
Unfortunately, it may take some time to reach this full potential. Currently, the nation is only seeing about $20 billion in public and private sector energy efficiency financing, significantly less than the $150 billion in financing opportunities out there.
“This investment gap represents an enormous opportunity to strengthen the economy, increase competitiveness of U.S. businesses while creating jobs and strengthening exports. The critical step to close this gap is to make EE financing a mainstream financial asset class with a high degree of standardization, predictability and scale. Leading financial institutions recognize the opportunity to develop financial products in this area and are increasingly committed to expand financing for energy efficiency. To do so, banks are seeking to develop efficiency performance data and build scalable efficiency financing models.”
The report examines several different energy efficiency financing models and strategies including carbon market funding, mortgage-backed energy efficiency financing, PACE funding
and preferential loans.